Category Archives: BSG
Most forms of entertainment can be construed as propaganda. This is a bold statement to make but nevertheless a true one. Individuals are slaves to their own feelings and notions. It is not absurd to believe that something an individual creates will carry the individual’s message, either with intent or without. It’s human nature. Like the adage says, we write what we know. So, too, must we create what we know.
An issue that Battlestar Galactica seemingly had upon its conclusion was a religious message. Throughout the series there was a polytheistic leaning that was creative and new, but then the Cylons and later Baltar started spouting about a one true god. This would be fine except for the fact that in the end this god revealed itself as angels in the heads of two characters and a messenger/harbinger in the form of a resurrected human character. It would seem that Ron D. Moore was saying something about the rightness and righteousness of a one true god. Most of us viewers did not care for this in our humans versus robots war show with a heavy emphasis on terrorism and internal politics.
In starting to watch Caprica, a show produced by Moore but not entirely in his control, the message of the one true god is being lost. I’m confused but amused by it. In the first episode we see an attack on a train carrying many innocent people, and the perpetrator is one of those terrible monotheists. He was able to perform such a horrible act because his god said it was right. I’m going to gloss over the fact that he was dark-skinned and may as well have been Persian, but it’s interesting to see monotheists being persecuted for their believes and shown to be the bad guys despite the ending of the previous series.
It will be interesting to follow the rest of Caprica and found out what the writers ultimately want to say about religion. These series are hardly about religious tolerance, especially given the ending of the previous. What kind of religious and political messages will we find on the way to its conclusion?
As an aside, I’m pleasantly surprised with the series. I intended to avoid it, but Cylon development and virtual people won me over. I’m particularly interested in the virtual Zoe and later the virtual Tamara, as they were created not from the usual scifi brain download but from metadata as it exists on the internet, in public and private records, etc. These are nigh perfect copies of the originals, so far, and they are based on people’s actions. It’s not what you think that shapes who you are. It’s what you do.
Immediately after reading the linked text, I was tempted to contact the friends I knew who enjoyed Battlestar Galactica’s finale and give them the link. This was something that I felt would vindicate me. My subjective opinion would thus be proven superior to someone else’s because yet a third subjective opinion agreed with mine and put it in an intellectual manner. No, BSG’s finale was disappointing because the creators gave us something that didn’t fit well with the rest of the series. Haha!
While I undoubtedly agree with what Robert Bland says, I realize the futility in saying anything more. That is is the main reason I haven’t really gone out of my way to say anything about the series since my last entry on it. The series is over. Everyone who has seen it through has formulated his or her opinion on it already. Any attempt at changing their opinions, even worse intellectualizing why your own opinion is somehow more right, is a combination of both intellectual masturbation and outright condescending jerkery. It’s partially due to a disappointment that we incorrectly label as betrayal, and it’s partially due to the fact that we may be jealous that someone other than ourselves got some sort of satisfaction from the conclusion. Not all endings are going to satisfy everyone. It’s just interesting how much this particular ending has managed to polarize its audience.
It is easy to look back on the history of Battlestar Galactica and appreciate what it did to break the conventions of the space opera and how well it played the role of NOT Star Trek. The series creator, Ron Moore, and his collection of writers made great strides in making something completely different. It was dark and gritty, and there was nothing but bleakness around every corner. The ship was falling apart along with most of the relationships the crew had. The show should not have ended well.
So why did it? Why did it end with an hour of optimism and the founding of a new race without the baggage of their own hate and technology? Why say that everything was shaped by God? The two “head” characters are angels, and one can make the supposition that Kara Thrace was an instrument of God in the long run. (Or, given how she disappeared, she’s Batman.)
It feels like the last hour of the show and its final revelations were out of place. The series is the great Battlestar Galactica, which challenged viewers around every turn. There aren’t too many shows that go out of their way to take five established characters and turn them on their heads – and manage to do so without being a complete deal breaker. I know that there are people who tuned out at that point, but it was still worthwhile. It still all worked.
Then comes the ending, which involves everything being far too easy. Baltar’s redemption, in the eyes of God, is found in carrying a child 10 feet into the opera house. Caprica Six’s redemption is found in accompanying them. The opera house was where they were always located! Cavil, the bleeding nihilist, was subdued by Baltar’s speech regarding theology and the promise of resurrection. The notes of Kara’s song are actually the coordinates of what seems to be our Earth 150,000 years ago. The cylon toasters are OK with just flying away in the end. And the people on Galactica are fine with basically forgetting their relationships and colonizing various different continents. Everything fell into place way too easily, and it’s all because God made it so. The worst part of that is that Gaius Baltar, who is supposed to be full of shit, was right about so very much. It felt cheap.
The entire ending was not cheap, though. The first two parts of the three-parter were fine. There were so many things about those episodes that seemed so right. It’s that last hour that bugs me. It disappointed me. It was not Battlestar Galactica. It was something completely different. Some might say the challenge in the end was in accepting something easy for a change. And I say that’s crap. I don’t know what was going through the heads of all those involved, but this wasn’t right.
And the montage of real-life robots in the end? All we needed was “THE END?” and to call it a night. So much for breaking the cycle. At least one show was cleared off of my Friday night/Saturday morning schedule.